Bug#698408: Weak package description
Justin B Rye
justin.byam.rye at gmail.com
Fri Jan 18 10:15:55 UTC 2013
Martin Eberhard Schauer wrote:
> Dear Multimedia Maintainers,
> thank you for maintaining rev-plugins.
> I'm sorry that to me the package description seems problematic. And I'm aware
> that it's "just a library" that gets pulled in. The average user should not
> need the description to decide whether he needs it …
LADSPA is a sort of "audio development" system, so people who want a
reverb function need to be able to find it (or at least pick it out of
the "Suggests: ladspa-plugin" alternatives from an audio-editor like
audacity). And let's not forget that people who want other things out
of Section: sound (such as plugins for CD-ripping or spectrography or
VoIP software) need to be able to recognise it as something they can
For context, the package description is currently:
# Description: gverb-like ladspa plugin
# This reverb is based on gverb by Juhana Sadeharju,
# but the code (now C++) is entirely original.
# Second input for stereo operation,
# and some code to prevent FP denormalisation
# was added.
This is just a cut-down version of the initial release notes:
# This reverb is based on gverb by Juhana Sadeharju, but the code
# (now C++) is entirely original. I added a second input for stereo
# operation, and some code to prevent FP denormalisation.
# This is a preliminary release, and this plugin will probably change
# a lot in future versions.
> - It uses uncommon (FP) and misspelled abbreviations (LADSPA = Linux Audio
> Developer's Simple Plugin API). (1)
> - There are "plugins" in the package name, but there is just one plugin inside.
> But that seems to originate from upstream. (2)
(linuxaudio.org is dead and gone)
> - For people who don't know gverb the comparison is quite useless.
On the other hand gverb is available in Debian, hidden away in
swh-plugins. The docs for that say it's "a mono in, stereo out
reverb implementation by Juhana Sadeharju".
> I would be more comfortable with something like:
> Description: reverb LADSPA plugin
> This reverb features two inputs for stereo operation,
> and some code to prevent floating point denormalisation.
Here come my nitpicks.
1) The two inputs aren't so much a "feature" as a widening of what
it supports relative to gverb - apparently it can do not
only "mono in, stereo out" but also "stereo in, stereo out".
2) Just as users don't need to know that it's in C++, it seems
inappropriate to focus on the fact that the developer had
trouble with some particular esoteric number-crunching error
in the code. Or is FP denormalisation really something that
audio buffs are expected to know and care about?
3) This package may be a bad place to start, but wouldn't it be
nice if LADSPA plugins all had a few lines of boilerplate to
indicate what a LADSPA plugin is and why I might want one?
Luckily ladspa.org offers a perfectly adequate intro.
So how about:
Description: reverb LADSPA plugin
This plugin provides a reverberation effect based on gverb but
supporting stereo-to-stereo as well as mono-to-stereo operation.
The Linux Audio Developer's Simple Plugin API is a standard that
allows software audio processors and effects to be plugged into a
wide range of audio synthesis and recording packages.
(If we still had an "isation" I would suggest standardization, but
it's already gone.)
JBR with qualifications in linguistics, experience as a Debian
sysadmin, and probably no clue about this particular package
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